JACKSON — The members of the Jackson Planning Board have granted unanimous approval to an application that is expected to result in the construction of a warehouse at the intersection of West Commodore Boulevard and Patterson Road.
The board heard the Jackson One, LLC, application on Nov. 17, carried the public hearing to Dec. 12 and approved the warehouse plan after several outstanding items were addressed by representatives of the applicant.
Planning Board Chairman Robert Hudak, Vice Chairman Len Haring, Michele Campbell, Noah Canderozzi, Township Councilman Martin Flemming, Mordechai Burnstein, Tzvi Herman, Lisa DeMarzo and Township Administrators Terence Wall heard the application during the Dec. 12 meeting in the municipal building.
Jackson One, LLC, proposed to construct a 154,700-square-foot warehouse on West Commodore Boulevard. The building will include some office space for use by the tenant. The applicant was seeking preliminary and final major site plan approval for the warehouse and site improvements.
Doug Klee, the board’s engineer, previously said the building is a permitted use in the commercial, office, light industrial zone where it was proposed. He said the plan was compliant with the LM zoning requirements on West Commodore Boulevard.
Jackson One, LLC, is represented by attorney Salvatore Alfieri. During brief remarks before he called on professionals to testify, Alfieri updated the board members on several issues that remained outstanding following the Nov. 17 meeting.
Alfieri said one of two proposed driveways on West Commodore Boulevard has been removed from the plan. The driveway that was removed would have required a variance. He said that is no longer an issue. The one remaining driveway does not require a variance.
The attorney said refuse areas have been added to the plan and will service the building; the applicant has provided full circulation around the building for fire vehicle access; the building will be designed to accommodate solar panels on the roof; and the building will use public water.
Engineer Tony Diggan returned on Dec. 12 to provide additional information. He previously testified the warehouse would be constructed at the intersection of West Commodore Boulevard (Route 526) and Patterson Road.
The one remaining driveway on West Commodore Boulevard will be used by warehouse employees and the driveway on Patterson Road will provide tractor-trailer access to a loading and unloading area at the rear of the building, Diggan said.
Diggan previously testified no retail sales would occur at the site; that all goods would be stored in the building; that no hazardous chemicals would be stored in the building; and that all products would be stored in a completely enclosed building.
Alfieri said no tenant for the warehouse has been identified at this time.
During his testimony on Dec. 12, Diggan said no improvements would be made in a 100-foot-wide buffer zone that separates the warehouse from an adjacent residential zone; the project will have 129 parking spaces, including 14 electric vehicle charging stations; and he reported Patterson Road is improved and in good condition, with no major changes proposed by Jackson One, LLC.
During the Nov. 17 meeting, Hudak said he had concerns about tractor-trailers leaving the warehouse and making a left turn from Patterson Road to eastbound West Commodore Boulevard.
He asked if a restriction could be put in place so tractor-trailers leaving the warehouse would only be permitted to turn right from Patterson Road onto westbound West Commodore Boulevard.
That issue was left unresolved on Nov. 17.
During the Dec. 12 meeting, Diggan said the representatives of Jackson One, LLC, will petition Ocean County officials to prohibit tractor-trailers from turning left from Patterson Road to eastbound West Commodore Boulevard.
West Commodore Boulevard is under the county’s jurisdiction.
Alfieri said the applicant would have no control over the county’s response to that request.
It was noted a sign could be posted advising tractor-trailer drivers not to make the left turn from Patterson Road to eastbound West Commodore Boulevard, but that in practice it might not be possible to stop drivers from making the left turn.
Traffic engineer Adam Gibson previously testified about vehicle volume at the site. He returned on Dec. 12 to address several open issues. Gibson previously described the proposed building as one that would contain “general warehousing uses.”
Gibson said a left turn lane is proposed to be constructed on eastbound West Commodore Boulevard so drivers heading east on that street will not have to stop behind a truck that is turning left onto Patterson Road to reach the entrance to the warehouse.
Regarding the planned request to require tractor-trailer drivers to turn right from Patterson Road to westbound West Commodore Boulevard, Hudak said, “That is an important piece of this project; to get traffic out to Route 571 and not past residential areas (on eastbound West Commodore Boulevard).”
Alfieri reminded the board members Ocean County officials would make the final determination on the right turn only movement at West Commodore Boulevard and Patterson Road, but he said the applicant “will do everything we can” to obtain that approval.
Gibson acknowledged that requiring tractor-trailer drivers to turn right from Patterson Road onto West Commodore Boulevard “would create fewer conflicts for trucks pulling out onto (eastbound) West Commodore Boulevard.”
The final issue to be discussed was the applicant’s request for 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation to be approved. The applicant’s representatives said nothing in Jackson’s ordinances prohibit a 24/7 operation.
“We would ask for the 24-hour operation to be approved as presented. We do not want to be at a competitive disadvantage,” Alfieri said.
The attorney previously said a tenant that occupies the warehouse may not want a 24-hour operation, but he said his client wants to at least have the option for future tenants.
Ernie Peters, the board’s planner, said, “the issue is noise. If they don’t meet the (requirements of Jackson’s) noise ordinance, the township will go out and issue summonses. That is what we have on the books.”
Alfieri said his client will comply with all pertinent regulations and will place a copy of Jackson’s noise ordinance in with every lease that is signed by a tenant.
A motion was made to grant preliminary and final major site plan approval for the Jackson One, LLC, application. On a roll call vote, all of the board members voted “yes.”